The way to the heart of a strong bilateral relationship?
It’s not just dinner (via Vikram Arumilli). In the nuanced world of international diplomacy, it is a Really Big Deal. Big enough to keep Mr Bush awake after his normal bedtime, but not big enough (yet) for him to engage Dr Manmohan Singh in a discussion on the relative merits of Texas longhorns and Punjab sahiwals at his ranch or at Camp David.
The dinner for Singh sends an important signal to the international community, “to underscore the special and growing importance of relations with India,” says (Strobe) Talbott. Reducing the number of state dinners makes them more valuable, he suggests. [WP]
Such diplomatic gestures, of course, are not everything, but important regardless. At least, Dr Singh now owes Mr Bush one.